Assist. Prof. Dr. Emina Zejnilović: Architects must learn to think in three dimensions - International Burch University
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Assist. Prof. Dr. Emina Zejnilović: Architects must learn to think in three dimensions



Professor at International Burch University in Sarajevo, Prof. Dr. Emina Zejnilović, arrived on the agreed interview in exactly one minute. We are located in a translucent cabinet that, as if it were designed for architects, contained large glass panels open to the view of Sarajevo whose construction diversity represents the most colorful puzzle with which only the architects of the Emino Monastery can wear.

Immediately taking the pencil and paper, and with light movements, we speak about her growing up in Prishtina, and Sarajevo, where she arrived in 1999 during the war. But with a special glow in her eyes, she talks about the Mediterranean and the island of Cyprus, where she was rewarded a scholarship in a competition of over four hundred students from BiH.

“I saw a competition for an opportunity to study architecture in Cyprus, and I applied for it and received the scholarship. Of course, it was my initial but also the greatest success, as I was just chosen from amongst four hundred people. Of course, I did not think about going abroad at any time, and I was not particularly concerned about Cyprus as a destination for my student days. But the first encounter with a small island in the Mediterranean like Cyprus was fascinating, but what impressed me particularly was my colleagues and college students who came from all over the world. When you realize that you have people who live differently from the way we live, it helps to understand the dynamics of life, which is extremely important for architects.

But the dynamics of life changed much after Cyprus. As a young architect, I faced architects who were men and who often said that architecture is not a trade for women. But I did not believe that. Although architecture as a profession is a male world and it is not easy for a woman to find herself at the site. At such locations, women immediately say they do not know enough, but the practice has shown differently.

Through my practice, I met with clients who were looking for exclusive women. This is because women have special sensitivity, at least when it comes to interiors or when it comes to a female client. Then there is a demand for architects and the reason is simple – a woman better understands!

However, everyone should know that architecture is difficult physical work and that architecture is in itself a production. That is why I am not surprised by the statement of the fantastic Ladies Zaha Mohammad Hadid who said: “If you want a simple life, do not be architects.” However, architects can do different things, from making jewelry to furniture design, and all can be found in architecture.

Architects, people with too much thought!

Architects are trained to have too many opinions, and we are specially trained to have a critical opinion on everything. Architects are always looking for what is missing, but she would lie if she says that architects do not see the good things, but they certainly tend to perfection.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are many young and talented architects who are certainly architects of world renome, but they are not given the opportunity to show what they know, and when such architects cannot live from their work, they simply flee from the profession and science. But this painful process must pass through by all young architects so that they can understand what they do and do not want in architecture. 

During my academic work, I encounter various types of architecture students. Some students simply have a sense of space, aesthetics, and harmony, while others work and simply exercise practicing their own feelings. Therefore, the artistic component in architecture is not crucial, although architects are people who should have a sensitivity to aesthetics.

Architecture is a combination of art, engineering, and anthropology. For architecture, it is not necessary to know how to draw, know math, nor be an artist in its essence. It’s important to be intelligent, to collaborate and to be open to criticism, and to accept that you think in a different way as architects think in 3D and everything they do and draw is human.

It was exactly this thinking in 3D that brought together architects with technology, which became the base of every architect. However, it often happens that students do not understand that the technology is there to help us in production, but that they must first learn how architects think. That’s why I have to say that students of architecture can break down the software because the software is not a machine that thinks…we still need the man for that. When it comes to architecture, nobody talks about pain. However, as I have already pointed out, architecture is hard physical work, and hard physical work causes pain. It is not unusual to meet architects who have pain in their joints, spinal column, neck and other extremities. Despite this,  love towards work and crafts comes before leisure.

Therefore, it’s not surprising when you see architects and their clients as real friends. Architects spend a lot of time with their clients, as they must literally live with them to know what clients really want and how to best answer the task. It is clear that a good architect must first know human psychology. Good professors of architecture must primarily be engineers who have gained their knowledge in practice. These professors have to have mud on their boots. Personally, I long to be part of the teaching process because I actively participate in the creation of new architects, and our success is complete when at the end of the ballad, I receive a finalized project from the student I have educated.

That’s why my choice is International Burch University where every student really pays attention. We at Burch University treat our students as individuals and strive to nourish what is best for them. Our program is getting better year after year because our top management provides professionals with a profession and professors with open hands for program creating. Additionally, they provide a good feeling when you come to work every day because you know that you will meet people whose knowledge is invaluable.